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Black Bear spotted on farm near Clear Spring

June 15, 2011|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Kenny and Barbara Clopper spotted this black bear walking across the backyard of their Ashton Road farm near Clear Spring.
Submitted photo

Kenny Clopper said he'll have to go mushroom hunting with his wife from now on whether he likes it or not.

At about 2 p.m. Tuesday, Clopper and his wife Barbara, saw a black bear walking across the backyard of their Ashton Road farm near Clear Spring.

"My wife saw him first and she went ballistic," Clopper said. "He looked like a young male walking across the back yard. It looked like he was headed toward Hagerstown."

Clopper said the bear quickly fled when he and Barbara went out on the deck of their home and started yelling at the bear. They were joined by  their daughter-in-law Charlotte and 12-year-old grandson Eric.

The bear was about 100 to 150 feet away when they saw it, Clopper said.

He said Tuesday marked the first time that he has seen a bear on the property since he started living there in 1948.

"It was absolutely a thrill," Clopper said. "We've been waiting years and years to have a view of a black bear on the farm."

Clopper said he believes the bear was following the Potomac River near his farm as a navigation guide.

Harry Spiker, a bear biologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said bears typically use waterways and ridgelines as travel corridors.

"You increase your chances of seeing one along those routes," he said.

Spiker said bear sightings are not uncommon at this time of year because 18-month-old bears are sent away by their mothers to enter adulthood.

He said the Cloppers did the right thing by yelling at the bear.

"Don't be quiet," Spiker said. "You don't want the bear to be (comfortable with humans). That's when it gets dangerous."

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